How The Douglas Company Mitigates Murphy’s Law


The call from my superintendent came in at about 7:00 am. This was a little earlier then our normal daily call, so I knew something was wrong. Upon answering the phone, I was immediately informed we had a plumbing leak. I asked where the leak was and my superintendent answered “In the model unit.” 

The model unit was fully furnished and it was where the sales staff gave daily tours to prospective residents. To make matters worse, the facility had their grand opening scheduled in just a few days.  Multiple members from the owner’s company would be at the grand opening and would be touring the model unit.

We quickly reviewed the damage and discussed what trades we would need to get scheduled to make repairs.

We would need the plumber to fix the leak, the drywaller to replace the damaged drywall, the insulator to replace the insulation that had gotten wet, the finish carpenter to replace the wood base that was removed due to the wet drywall behind it, and the painter to come and paint the drywall and new base.  As my superintendent ran out to get some fans to dry the carpet, my project team started to make phone calls.

When issues like this pop up I am always reminded of Murphy’s Law. It states: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”  

However, at The Douglas Company, we do everything we can to mitigate Murphy’s Law and avoid issues.  A few of these procedures include:

  • Performing a detailed design check before construction starts to catch issues before they are realized in the field.
  • Completing a weekly full scheduled review to make sure the project stays on scheduled and to identify future road blocks.
  • Utilizing a material status log that tracks the delivery dates of all the material on the project to make sure the material is onsite when it is needed.
  • Doing quality checklists that are completed by our superintendents to make sure the building is structurally sound and the finishes are correctly installed.
  • Providing weekly Owner updates to keep our Owners informed of construction progress and issues the project is facing.

Despite all these measures, Murphy’s Law still finds a way to get the best of us at times.  That’s where the quick action and hard work of The Douglas Company team really shines like it did for our model unit.   I can proudly say that we got the model unit quickly repaired and by the date of the grand opening, no one could ever tell it was a disaster just a few days before.  


Dave Ender

Project Manager

The Douglas Company

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